DNREC awards recycling grants as Delaware celebrates Nov. 15 as America Recycles Day

DOVER – As Delawareans go to their recycling carts and compost containers to celebrate America Recycles Day, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Shawn M. Garvin today announced almost $400,000 in recycling grants from Delaware’s Universal Recycling Grant and Low Interest Loan program administered by DNREC’s Division of Waste & Hazardous Substances.

“In conjunction with America Recycles Day, I want to commend organizations, a city, schools, a school district, and businesses throughout the state who have committed to recycling with the awarding of more than $390,000 in Universal Recycling Grants,” Secretary Garvin said. “The projects supported by this program will continue to help Delawareans reduce their waste and to recycle toward a better environmental future for our state. While Delaware continues to see success with our Universal Recycling Program, America Recycles Day also is a good opportunity to challenge ourselves to do more.”

The latest cycle of DNREC recycling grant funding was awarded to nine different entities. The funding has three different priority areas, including food waste reduction; projects that support waste reduction/diversion; and a program that organizes student field trips to the DSWA Education Center in New Castle.

The Universal Recycling Grant and Low Interest Loan Program, which is coordinated through Delaware’s Recycling Public Advisory Council (RPAC), awarded the following grants:

Delaware Center for Horticulture ($23,400): The Center will work with stakeholders through a Food Waste Symposium to focus on ways to reduce this type of waste from being landfilled. The grant award also funds a three-year study of the results.

Caesar Rodney School District, Kent County ($13,550): The school district will procure and install water bottle-filling station fountains, and buy reusable bags for school meal distribution. Both efforts will directly reduce the amount of waste generated in the District. The school district also received funding to purchase more recycling containers to increase diversion.

Odyssey Charter School, Wilmington ($1,716): Odyssey will receive funding to purchase reusable utensils for use throughout the school’s food service operations. This will directly reduce the amount of material being disposed by the school. Additionally Odyssey Charter will receive funds to purchase additional recycling container lids to help increase diversion.

Holy Cross School, Dover ($380): Holy Cross School will receive funding to purchase recycling bins to increase the amount of material currently diverted from the school’s waste stream.

City of Newark/Recycle Coach ($5,900): The City of Newark and Recycle Coach, a recycling technology company, will receive funding to roll out an app and marketing campaign to reduce contamination in curbside recycling carts. The grant will also cover the costs associated with before and after waste audits to prove success.

Zerocycle, Washington, D.C. ($50,000): Zerocycle is a technology company that will team with the solid waste industry, State of Delaware, and other partners to analyze and identify trends and areas of concern throughout the State with regard to recycling success.

AllOver Media, Minneapolis, Minn. ($110,000): AllOver Media provides advertising services at gas stations throughout the nation. The company has proposed a Delaware Recycles ad campaign which will focus at key locations throughout Delaware to help ensure residents are aware of the Universal Recycling program.

Sussex County Habitat for Humanity ($40,442): In order to help support their ever growing reuse business, Habitat for Humanity will receive funding to acquire another truck to expand their fleet and increase the amount of reusable material diverted from landfills.

Cape Gazette Group, Lewes ($58,251): The media group will work with DNREC to create and distribute recycling education material to all students within Delaware as well as residents of the State. Additionally, this campaign will also provide electronic distribution of educational information via web and email advertising.

In addition, $86,600 has been set aside to reimburse schools throughout Delaware to cover the cost of a tour of the DSWA Education Center in New Castle. Schools should email recycle@delaware.gov for details about the reimbursement program.

On America Recycles Day, DNREC reminds residents that, as you celebrate, know what to throw in your recycling cart by going to Recycling.Delaware.gov. Delaware’s Universal Recycling Program makes it easier to recycle, delivers cost-effective recycling services, and promotes jobs and economic growth. Recycling conserves resources, preserves landfill space and strengthens our environment. Delawareans’ dedication to the cause means that the amount of recyclable material diverted from Delaware’s landfill has increased significantly since 2006, when DNREC, RPAC, and the Delaware Solid Waste Authority (DSWA) started calculating recycling rates in Delaware.

But supporting recycling does not just mean putting the right items into the recycling cart. Other notable recycling actions that can be taken by residents, organizations and businesses are:

Buy Recycled: Purchase items with post-consumer recycled (PCR) content such as paper products, electronics, promotional materials, and other consumer goods. Post-consumer recycled paper has been generated by a recycling program so these purchases keep the “cycle” going.

Practice Yard Waste Best Management Practices: Yard waste management and backyard composting are two very easy ways to provide natural fertilizer to lawns and gardens throughout Delaware. Don’t spend time raking and bagging your material if you’re going to “waste” it.

Become a recycling leader at work: DNREC offers free waste and recycling assessments and recommendations on starting or expanding recycling programs. More information can be found at “Recycling for Business” on DNREC’s website.

To learn more about recycling in Delaware, please visit recycling.delaware.gov, email questions to recycle@delaware.gov, or call DNREC’s Universal Recycling Program, Compliance and Permitting Section, at 302-739-9403.

Media Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902


DNREC announces that Croda, Inc. can resume ethylene oxide production at company’s Atlas Point facility

Approval granted for operation of Croda’s EO plant after company fulfills Delaware accidental release prevention requirements

DOVER – Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Shawn M. Garvin announced today that the Department has granted approval to Croda, Inc. to resume ethylene oxide (EO) production at the company’s Atlas Point facility. Croda received DNREC approval by fulfilling its obligations to improve safety at the facility through actions required by DNREC’s accidental release program. DNREC issued its requirements after investigating the Nov. 25, 2018 accidental release of EO, the volatile chemical substance used in the manufacturing of Croda’s products.

DNREC Secretary Garvin ordered Croda to complete seven accidental release prevention action requirements before the Department would approve the resumption of EO production at Croda’s new ethylene oxide plant. At DNREC’s direction, Croda completed an internal incident investigation report; a focused process hazard analysis of all EO release points; a fire water system hazard analysis; fire water system procedures training; fire department manifold connection to Croda’s fire water system supply tank; employee training for EO plant operation and emergency procedures; and a safety validation process – also known internally by Croda as the pre-startup safety review.

In addition to DNREC’s requirements, Croda installed automated purge and isolation valves, 26 additional fixed ethylene oxide gas detectors and eight additional closed circuit TV cameras, as well as upgraded its vapor suppression capabilities.

After coordination with DNREC and the New Castle County Office of Emergency Management, Croda also decided to install an emergency siren system to be used in conjunction with several other notification systems for alerting the public in the event of an accidental release by the facility. The system will be installed on or about Jan. 31, 2020.

Within a month of the Nov. 25, 2018 incident, DNREC, along with numerous state and local government agencies and Croda officials, held a public information meeting to review the incident and governmental agencies’ response. Other agencies included Delaware’s Department of Homeland Security, Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA), Division of Public Health, State Emergency Response Commission (SERC), and the New Castle County Department of Public Safety and Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC). DNREC also held a second public meeting in August with Croda to update the surrounding community on the required accidental release prevention actions and obtain additional community input.

After Croda established that it had met all of DNREC’s requirements, including resulting upgrades and safety improvements for both Croda employees and the community, Secretary Garvin announced today that the company could begin operating the ethylene oxide plant again at the Atlas Point facility.

Media contact: Michael Globetti, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902


DNREC announces Blades Groundwater Site has been proposed for Superfund NPL listing by US EPA

DOVER – As a significant step toward environmental remediation of hazardous substances found within the Town of Blades in Sussex County, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed the Blades Groundwater Site to the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL), Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Shawn M. Garvin announced today. The NPL is EPA’s list of priority sites where there have been releases of hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants requiring evaluation for possible remediation.

When the Blades Groundwater Site – which DNREC began treating with carbon filtration in 2018 to maintain safe use of the town’s water supply – is listed to the NPL, it will be eligible for remedial action financed under the federal Superfund program. NPL eligibility will allow EPA to use Superfund authority and resources to help DNREC continue to investigate and remediate the contamination and protect human health and the environment in Blades. DNREC requested EPA’s assistance with the management and remediation of the site due to the complex nature of the hazardous chemicals and the extent of the contamination. DNREC worked closely with the EPA and the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) in February 2018 identifying per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination, notifying local officials and the public, and securing safe drinking water supplies.

The proposed listing of the Blades Groundwater Site is due to the identification of electroplating compounds, PFAS, and hazardous metals contamination in municipal and residential drinking water wells in and near the Town of Blades. PFAS includes the chemicals, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), and is also referred to as perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) and perfluoroalkyls.

The public drinking water currently provided by the Town of Blades is treated to remove contamination, including PFAS. DNREC also coordinated carbon treatment for the impacted private residential wells, following DPH’s recommendation for appropriate carbon treatment. The finished drinking water meets federal and state safe drinking water standards. Recent testing completed in October 2019 indicates the Blades municipal drinking water continues to meet drinking water standards.

The EPA – with support from DNREC, DPH, and the Town of Blades – plan to hold a local public information meeting in December in the Blades area to provide information on the site and the proposed listing to the NPL. EPA, DPH and DNREC will work closely with state and local agencies and officials throughout the NPL listing process. Supporting documentation for the proposed listing of the Blades Groundwater Site is available at: http://www.epa.gov/superfund/current-npl-updates-new-proposed-npl-sites-and-new-npl-sites.

If the comments received throughout the NPL listing process do not affect EPA’s scoring of the site, the site could be eligible for listing on the NPL. If the site is listed on the NPL, EPA will again provide public notice in the Federal Register, and formally respond to the comments received.

Media contact: Michael Globetti, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902


USAF, Dover AFB advise state agencies that PFAS chemicals exceeding EPA health advisory found in four wells near base

DOVER – The US Air Force and Dover Air Force Base have notified Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and Division of Public Health that four wells near the base sampled by the federal government for perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), including perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), have returned elevated levels of PFOS and PFOA above the US Environmental Protection Agency’s health advisory for these substances of 70 parts per trillion (ppt).

Because of the elevated PFOS and PFOA levels, the owners of the four wells – which provide water to a shopping center with five businesses, two residences, and an office building – have been notified and provided with bottled water by Dover AFB. PFOS and PFOA are chemicals used in a variety of products that over time have become widely distributed in the environment – and have been found at Dover AFB and other air bases and airports in firefighting foam. The USAF and EPA have been working with DNREC and DPH to determine the impacts of PFOS and PFOA on private wells in proximity to the base.

A USAF fact sheet about the Dover AFB PFOS and PFOA sampling published in late spring said that groundwater samples collected in shallow monitoring wells on the base showed levels of PFOS and PFOA above EPA’s 70 ppt health advisory. “Based on these results, actions have been undertaken to ensure that drinking water at DAFB and the surrounding community is not impacted,” the fact sheet noted.

No PFOS or PFOA were detected in five nearby municipal water wells tested sampled in November 2014 by Dover AFB’s water supplier, Tidewater Utilities. Tidewater sampled four on-base municipal supply wells and the off-base municipal supply well nearest the base. All of these wells draw water from a deep, confined aquifer, and there were no PFOS or PFOA detections in any of them.

Representatives from the USAF this year then began contacting owners and users of private or commercial wells on properties near the northwest and east boundaries of Dover AFB, and asking permission to take drinking water samples. The four private wells that returned elevated levels of PFOS and PFOA on July 12 are located along those boundaries.

The primary step necessary to protect the public’s health from exposure to PFOS and PFOA in drinking water is to use an alternate water source until a permanent solution can be determined, which may consist of treatment, connecting to a new system, or other solution. DPH encourages the impacted businesses, office building, and dwellings in the affected area to use the bottled water provided by the DAFB until a permanent solution is in place. Anyone with specific health concerns or questions about potential health impacts is encouraged to contact their primary care provider. General questions about health effects from, and exposure to PFAS can call DPH at 302-744-4546.

For more information, please contact:
436th Airlift Wing, Public Affairs
Cell Phone: 302-363-9006 or 302-677-3372.
Email: 436AW.PA@us.af.mil

Vol. 49, No. 193


DNREC issues Secretary’s Orders requiring scrap tire regulatory compliance and assesses penalties to six facilities

DNREC LogoDOVER – DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin has issued six Notices of Administrative Penalty and Secretary’s Orders to resolve compliance issues with state regulations governing scrap tires. The Orders were issued to Bayly’s Garage in Delmar; Irfan Tire Center in Millsboro; Mall Tire Center, LLC, in Seaford; Master Tire & Auto in Georgetown; Gulab’s Tire Center, LLC in Millsboro; and West Auto Repair & Salvage, Inc. in Delmar. The Orders call for a penalty of $5,000 with an additional stipulated penalty of $1,000 per day if compliance is not achieved by the deadlines established in the Secretary’s Orders.

On Jan. 1, 2017, regulations governing the management of scrap tires became effective in Delaware. Since then, DNREC’s Solid & Hazardous Waste Management Section has conducted mass mailings and training sessions in each Delaware county to educate businesses generating scrap tires of the regulatory requirements. After the educational period for businesses ended, DNREC staff began conducting inspections at facilities accumulating scrap tires outdoors, and providing onsite guidance to those entities that were not in compliance with the new regulations, affording each the opportunity to voluntarily comply.

During these inspections, DNREC staff verify that tire retailers are registered with the Delaware Division of Revenue and are submitting the required $2 fee on every tire sold. The collected fees assist in the removal and proper disposal of scrap tires. Currently, DNREC is focusing its inspections on those businesses identified as not paying the required fee for the sale of each tire.

Each company cited by a Secretary’s Order and Notice of Administrative Penalty has 20 days to appeal the Order, or 30 days to request a public hearing regarding the Order.

The Secretary’s Orders can be found on the DNREC website at https://dnrec.alpha.delaware.gov/secretarys-orders/.

Media contact: Michael Globetti, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 49, No. 159